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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

On Collecting: Vintage Sheet Music

Vintage sheet music is an interesting and affordable way into buying and collecting antiques. The covers themselves are decorative and colourful enough to be framed and hung as works of art in their own right and many have catchy and humorous song titles, making them perfect gifts too!

Masquerade Waltz Song, c.1950

You're A Real Sweetheart, 1938.

Sheet music from the 1890s onward featured favourite songs from the stage and notable performers of the day often graced their covers so collecting these song sheets can be a great way to get your hands on stage and film memorabilia.

Riding on the Clouds, c.1940.

Jolly Good Fellow Lancers, c.1900.

Reasonably priced and attractive, not many objects of 20th century popular culture are so accessible and so fun! Many of these items are well over 50 years old and keeping in mind that they were mass produced on thin paper it’s unusual to find them in great condition, especially as they were used rather than kept as decorative items. Our collection has survived in excellent condition and the covers are varied in design, from Victorian gothic to art deco to cute and kitsch.

There's a Little Bit of Bad in Every Good Little Girl, c.1930.

The Wedding Waltz, c.1940.

At Sotheran’s we have a super collection of vintage song sheet covers, all in excellent condition and many mounted ready for framing. With prices starting at only £20 whether you’re a musician or antique collector these original vintage song sheets are a great opportunity to own a fabulous piece of 20th century memorabilia.

The Amber Witch Waltzes, c.1900.

Les Grenouilles Polka, c.1900.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Retro Sports in London

Expect bakewell battles and umbrella jousting at today's event The Chap Olympiad as it gets under-way this afternoon. It's an annual event of true British eccentricity so we thought it was a superb opportunity to showcase some of our favourite vintage sporting prints of finely dressed ladies and dapper gentlemen.

Snow Walking.

Anon. Battledoor and Shuttlecock, 1871.

Louis Dupont, Landau 425.

Thulstrup, T. Curling. 1886.

Anon. Salmon Fishing, 1871.

Hal Hurst. Cycling in Hyde Park, 1896.

Cruikshank, George. The Close of the Battle or the Champion Triumphant, 1811.

Let the games begin!

Friday, 11 July 2014

London Calling

We’ve just changed our window display to celebrate all things London so we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite maps & prints of this wonderful city. From lovely contemporary etchings to spectacular 18th century maps there is something of interest for everyone, so pop by Sackville St for a spot of window shopping!

Our window display of London maps, prints & posters.

We love the work of contemporary artist Michael Blaker who perfectly captures rainy city days and late summer evenings with some of London's most iconic landmarks in a muted palette of charcoal greys and soft blues. His original hand-coloured etchings are all signed and numbered by the artist in pencil and are priced at £200 and under.

Tower Bridge by Michael Blaker. £200

Also taking pride of place in the window are some great satirical prints from the Vanity Fair series published in the late 19th century.

The Lobby of the House of Commons, 1886. £175

No collection of London prints would be complete without a map and our pick is this lovely one dating from 1832. From the cartographer Robert Kearsley Dawson, this map depicts 'The Metropolitan Boroughs as defined by the Reform Bill' and is an original engraving with hand colouring. It's a scarce map showing the parliamentary boroughs of the Metropolitan area as established by the Reform Bill of 1832. The boroughs defined are Marylebone, Finsbury, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, London, Southwark and Lambeth with the map extending from Tottenham in the north, West Ham in the east, south to Norwood and west to Kensington. You'll also notice the arms of London and Westminster at the top of the map.

A scarce map showing the parliamentary boroughs of the Metropolitan area.

We've also got a fantastic collection of original vintage hotel luggage labels, they're all sold mounted and ready for framing so they make great unusual presents!

An original 1930s hotel label. £50

Want more? Then check out our boards on Pinterest for even more gift ideas and prints of London.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

London Art Week

London Art Week has just begun in St. James's and it brings together Master Drawings and Sculpture Week with Master Paintings Week in an exciting collaboration between 3 major auction houses and over 50 specialist dealers. It's a great opportunity to celebrate this special part of London's West End and enjoy lunchtime lectures, special exhibitions and late night openings in the area.

To coincide with the event we thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase our very own collection of Master Books & Prints here at Sotheran's. One stunning example from the Book Department is The Equilibriad from William Sansom which contains five full-page black and white plates illustrated by Lucien Freud. Published by The Hogarth Press in 1948 as part of a limited edition of 750 copies signed by the author, our copy is numbered 172. Please click here for full details.

Lucien Freud, The Equilibriad. 1948.

Lucien Freud, The Equilibriad. 1948.

Lucien Freud, The Equilibriad. 1948.

Here in the Print Department we have recently acquired a special set of Henry Moore original etchings from the deluxe edition of the "Animals in the Zoo" album, printed by James Collyer and John Crossley, London 1982. The series of etchings are all signed in the plate, and also signed, inscribed and numbered in pencil on Arches paper. Please follow this link for our complete collection of Henry Moore etchings currently available.

Elephant. Plate B. An original etching by Henry Moore, numbered 4/15 Plate B.

Zebra. An original etching by Henry Moore, numbered 4/65 Plate VI.
Antelope. An original etching by Henry Moore, numbered 4/65 Plate IX.

If you're in the area as part of London Art Week do pop by Sackville Street to see our very own Master Books & Prints!

2-5 Sackville Street | Piccadilly | London | W1S 3DP

Opening hours

Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm

Saturday from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm